Gainesille, FL - Florida plays host to fifth-ranked Tennessee on
Thur., Jan. 13 in the O’Connell Center where tip-off is scheduled for
7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on Comcast Sports South that airs in Gainesville on Cox Cable channel 259 Cox Sports and is part of the sports-tier package available. The radio broadcast of the game can be heard live in Gainesville on WBXY-FM 99.5 The Star and free on the internet at www.GatorZone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.
Florida will be playing a home game for the first time in a week, last
running the O’Connell Center floor on Thu., Jan. 2 and earning a 64-53
win against then-No. 22/24 Arkansas.
The game also is the lone home appearance during a four-game stretch
for the team, which sports a modest nine-game home winning streak that includes an 8-0 mark this season. The nine-game run is tied for the
fifth-longest in program history.
Florida (12-5, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) earned a thrilling 65-63
victory at South Carolina on Sunday, the Gator’s first true road win
Tennessee (15-2, 3-0 SEC) had little trouble with Ole Miss, taking down
the Rebels 86-46 on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Florida is averaging a respectable 67.1 points per game, with only
redshirt junior Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.) recording a double-figure
scoring average. Nine different Gators contribute at least 5.0 points
per game, with 10 of the 12 reptiles averaging at least 13 minutes of
playing time per contest.
In the last three games - all in the SEC - redshirt junior Ndidi Madu
(Antioch, Tenn.) has stepped up her game, averaging a team-best 11.0
points per game and hitting 68.2 percent of her shot attempts. Madu
scored a career-high 17 points in the two-point win at South Carolina on
Sunday. Freshman Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) is averaging 9.7
points in SEC action, while sophomore Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) is adding 8.7 points and 7.0 rebounds during league play.
Tennessee has looked every bit like the preseason favorite to win the
league, having ripped through its first three SEC games and winning by
an average of 37.7 points per game.
In their first three SEC games, the Lady Vols are pouring in 89.7
points per outing, while holding opponents to 52.0 points. Overall, the
club tallies 82.1 points and has won by an average of 25.8 points per
Four different players average a double-figure scoring effort, paced by
freshman guard Meighan Simmons, who contributes 16.2 points, hitting
35.1 percent from long range (34-97) and dishing 46 assists. Senior
Angie Bjorklund adds 11.5 points and converts 40.6 percent (41-101) from the three-point arc. Glory Johnson records 10.3 points with a
team-leading 8.9 rebounds per game.
Tennessee holds a commanding 40-3 all-time lead in the 43-game series against Florida, which has lost three in a row to the Lady Vols since earning a 66-57 win in Gainesville on Feb. 8, 2009.
Three of the last four in the series have been single-digit affairs,
with last year’s 83-44 blowout in Knoxville knocking the close-game
trend. The Gators have earned two wins at home (Feb. 8, 2009 and Jan.
21, 1997) and one in Knoxville (Feb. 26, 2006), where they became just
the second unranked team ever to defeat the Lady Vols at home.
Thursday’s game is the first of two regular season meetings between
Florida and Tennessee this season. The teams will play again on Thu.,
Feb. 10 in Knoxville.
With the expanded 16-game SEC schedule that began last season, the
Gators will have home-and-home series again this year against Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt